New Internationalist

Tributo al Cuarteto Patria

April 2001

A stripling of 53 years of age, guitarist Eliades Ochoa is the youngest member of Cuba’s Buena Vista Social Club. But if anyone, pointing to the wealth of solo albums that have followed in the wake of Wim Wenders’ film, suggests that Ochoa is cashing in, refer them to Tributo al Cuarteto Patria pronto.

Recorded to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Cuarteto Patria, the band which Ochoa has infused with his mellow guajiro (country) sound, Tributo occupies an intriguing position between old and new. Its music is often traditional and versions can be found elsewhere. However, Ochoa’s skill lies in his ability to make a translation into new tone and timbres. So ‘Yiri Yiri Bon’, a dance number that could have been preserved in perfect late-1950s aspic, is opened out to new influences. Ochoa’s son, Eglis, adds a fierce upbeat on percussion while acoustic bass from William Calderón and burning trumpet sounds from Anibal Avila Pacheco add an irrepressible vitality.

As a celebratory album, Tributo has a sense of its own event. And with guest appearances from some of Cuba’s best veterans it has every right to do so. But don’t be totally seduced by Ochoa’s dance tunes: arguably, the best tracks are to be found in the quiet yearning of ‘Que Murmuren’ or ‘Por Culpa de las Mujeres’ – a spirited riposte from an 88-year old El Guayabero to allegations of womanizing. Such warmth and passion is impossible to deny.

Louise Gray

Front cover of New Internationalist magazine, issue 333 This column was published in the April 2001 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

Never miss another story! Get our FREE fortnightly eNews

Comments on Tributo al Cuarteto Patria

Leave your comment


  • Maximum characters allowed: 5000
  • Simple HTML allowed: bold, italic, and links

Registration is quick and easy. Plus you won’t have to re-type the blurry words to comment!
Register | Login

...And all is quiet.

Subscribe to Comments for this articleArticle Comment Feed RSS 2.0

Guidelines: Please be respectful of others when posting your reply.

Get our free fortnightly eNews


Videos from visionOntv’s globalviews channel.

Related articles

Recently in Currents

All Currents

Popular tags

All tags

This article was originally published in issue 333

New Internationalist Magazine issue 333
Issue 333

More articles from this issue

  • World’s Worst

    April 1, 2001

    This year's winners of the annual Multinational Monitor 'Worst Corporation' awards.

  • Message of War

    April 1, 2001

    Reem Haddad uncovers Ariel Sharon’s brutal past in Letter from Lebanon.

  • Dick Cheney

    April 1, 2001

    Dick Cheney: the dirty history of the new US Vice-President.

New Internationalist Magazine Issue 436

If you would like to know something about what's actually going on, rather than what people would like you to think was going on, then read the New Internationalist.

– Emma Thompson –

A subscription to suit you

Save money with a digital subscription. Give a gift subscription that will last all year. Or get yourself a free trial to New Internationalist. See our choice of offers.